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Men's Club & Ladies' Lounge, Revisited

My plans fell through on Saturday evening (6/5/10), and I stopped in at the Men's club. The huge room, with kitchennette, TV area, pool table, tables and chairs was empty, except for a gentleman from East River Housing who always seems to be there.

I don't understand the politics of the Men's club, but I do know that it is the single best space at our co-op, and on the rare occasions that I stop by that sorely underutilized space, I see more non-shareholders than shareholders.

I know there are some people who advocate for the continuation of this club, and many people who defend it solely because recognizing its absurdity would similarly recognize the absurdity of having a "Ladies Lounge".

I implore people in our community to acknowledge that, first and foremost (that is, before investing money for the establishment of a new Ladies' Lounge), we need to establish a mixed use club! Open the existing Men's club space to Shareholders at-large. And with all due respect for our greater community, I advocate that we refuse non-shareholders from frequenting the club. Once we have shareholders-only mixed-use club, we can enhance it with better furniture, wireless internet access, and maybe some sort of coffee and food service!

I recognize that different groups of people have different needs, and ultimately we should consider the establishment of separate Seniors' and Juniors' rooms. But as for the need for private poker games or book discussions, I would think that the partitioned-off areas in the forthcoming Building 1 community room would be the proper venue for such gatherings to take place.

Incidentally, back in 2004 (before the current Ladies Lounge was established), 80% of the respondents to an SPComm poll thought that it was not a good idea to maintain separate men's and women's clubs.